But it's insane that Apple thinks that "applications in the background with no docs are the ones that need to be quit.
Long ago I got into the habit of keeping TextEdit open and using it as a temporary repository for text. The automatic termination feature of Lion was confusing and somewhat annoying at first but I found the workaround that I described earlier and so far TextEdit hasn't quit on me since. I'd like for applicaitons to give me the option of turning this feature off but I do understand the idea that Apple is working toward.
Before I upgraded my iMac at work I often found my computer bogging down. I'd have 6 or 8 applications running but at any given time several of those would be totally inactive and their windows were all closed. So these inactive but running applications were hogging memory that, if released, would let my computer hum. Since the memory wasn't released, the hard drive was thrashing and the beachball was spinning. In a similar situation Lion sees these inactive applications and releases the memory and the result is a computer that behaves itself much better under low memory situations than Leopard and Snow Leopard did.
The MacBook Air lets me restart these applications in a heartbeat or two and the trade-off is mostly positive. But when it comes to a couple programs it is annoying, which is why I wish Apple required applications to offer a toggle on the feature so users could turn it off.
Linc Davis wrote:
Why do you care whether a document-centric application quits in the background when it has no documents open? I'm not being sarcastic; I'd really like to know.
Two cases seem obvious to me because they just both happened to me.
Xcode is downloading and installing "command line tools". There is no window open. Xcode quits because it is "inactive". The download is abandoned. I find Xcode quit and wonder what might have happened. Took me three tries to download and install the command line tools without Xcode quitting on me while doing that.
Second is switching between applications. I switch away from Xcode and half an hour later I switch back. Xcode has gone. Great.
Generally, Apple shouldn't pretend that it is the 1980s and applications habe to be quit to free resources. Applications that are (really) inactive are already paged out to disk. That's enough.
Count me in with that complaint. I think auto-quitting -- and in particular auto-quitting document-based applications -- is the worst "feature" ever introduced in an Apple system. I hate it.
Take Preview and TextEdit:
You can’t switch between the apps because they auto-quit. (What is Cmd-Tab good for then?)
You can’t use the “New Document” command from the dock icon in TextEdit because it auto-quits. (What is the dock menu good for then?)
Generally if an app still offers functionality even if all windows are closed why should it be quit automatically against the will of the user?
So document based apps should never ever auto-quit, because you are likely to use them to create a new document or open another one.
And even single window applications (e.g. iPhoto, AddressBook) should not auto-quit because you are likely to use them again. At least they should not quit if they still do things in the background.
I just don't get why Apple is doing this. Quitting an app is so easy via Cmd-Q or the dock icon. So auto-quitting is not solving any problem but creating problems and removing functionality.
As maybe an illustration of the problem: Imagine auto-quitting for Safari. How would you like that?
And just how do you think auto quit accomodates Win users?
OTOH, it mimics iOS which keeps programs running in memory when we exit out and launch (or switch) to another application. When there's no more free memory to launch another application our iOS device auto quits one. Since launching an app from flash RAM is fast we often don't even realize the program had been quit.
Because they are used to just closing windows to quit applicaitons.
Apple's reasoning is that the GUI will be disabled so that when the user starts the application up again, since it is already running in memory it will be faster to "launch"
This is of couse INSANELY STUPID for those of us who have been all grown up and like proper adults, have been pressing command Q or selecting Quit from the Aplication or File menu for well over twenty five years.
And not giving us a switch to set this as preferred behavious WHILE being encouraged to purchase the new OS is extremely insulting to Apple's loyal users.
Actually, Windows uses document windows, windows within windows. Excel does that. Windows users who close all documents within Excel do not necessarily assume that Excel should now close. Generally Windows users do not expect applications to quit on their own.
If a Windows user closes all windows of a Mac application and expects it to close, it won't matter if it doesn't, because modern computers (that is computers built since 1992) page out the memory of applications no longer used and it really doesn't matter how many inactive programs are "running" at any given time.
Are many Mac users really so stupid that they just don't notice when TextEdit quits after a while or that documentation has to be downloaded again and again in Xcode, becaue Xcode quits while downloading because no windows are open?
Nobody here is "getting bent out of shape" over a "feature". We are angry because of a _bug_.
The operating system quitting applications without the user telling it to is not and never has been a feature. It's a bug, regardless of whether the error was made by the programmer or the person making the decisions for the functional specs.
dwb, I take it that you don't rely on the exact functionality in Preview and/or TextEdit.
I use these in my workflow every day. There is no reason to move to Lion if Apple removes functionality that you use every day.
Try command control 1, in a list view in the Finder 10.7.3. Now try it again. No change. Try it in 10.6.8. OMG. It toggles the sort order. HOW NICE. Another feature removed.
DWB, you're missing the point. Apple now has the compter thinking it knows better than you. "I'll auto quit for you",
Oh, you're not using those docs? I'll auto lock them for you in two weeks.
Oh, let me save that for you.
Oh, the Library folder is BAD, I'll lock you out of saving into your own Library folder.
Oh, you don't have any items in your Safari Downloads queue. I'll prevent you from opening that window with command option L instead of displaying the window (now not even a window).
This is the Microsoft Clippy of Mac Experiences.
But it's WORSE. I have the source code to TextEdit. Apple gives it to you with Xcode. So, I compiled it on 10.7.3 with the auto termination off.
I changed the bundle name of TextEdit to FuzzyBunniesEdit and rebuilt the app. GUESS WHAT?
Auto termination was now working.
The system is overriding in application code to force TextEdit to have auto termination.
What cruel joke is this? Why would they put time and effort in to this? They give us the source code, gice us a method and a variable to disable this functionality and then override it at a system level?
Personally viewing all the arguments in this thread I still think auto-quitting is bad.
I understand that Windows users might consider it normal that apps quit when they have no open windows. But IMHO it has always been a great feature of the Mac OS to have applications running without open windows because you can still call them to do something (e.g. via the Dock icon or via a short-cut) and you can quickly activate them.
Regarding the comparison with iOS: I think the Macs serve different purposes and are used in a different manner than mobile devices. In iOS you use only one app at a time whereas on a Mac you use multiple apps in parallel.
I simple don't understand what the advantage of auto-quitting is supposed to be. Idle apps use almost no cpu cycles. Their memory is paged out when needed (something that does not happen in iOS b.t.w. so here is another difference) so they don't block RAM.
The only "advantage" I can see is that the Dock icon of the quit app vanishes. But many users crowd their Docks with all apps used anyway. In this case the difference is only that the Dock icon of the quit app has less functionality. And the people who want only the apps they are currently working with or use very often in the Dock will probably prefer the old way.
If Apple thinks that auto-quitting is a feature it should be an option. I'm even fine with it being the default. But it would be releaving if Apple provided a way to disable auto-quitting, preferably as a global option as well as a per-app option.
Fair point Leauki, but open wordPad and close the last document. The app quits.
I think that more precisely, Apple is trying to avoid the GUI (Task switcher, command tab bar?) that appears when you press command tab from filling up with application clutter because people (casual users) don't know how to quit applications.
And Leauki, I hate to tell you, it's not a bug, it's a clearly designed feature, which if poorly designed, feels exactly like a bug to most people.
I've been in software development since 1991, so I know all the difference between a "feature" and a "bug". I've created many of both in my day.
Of course, I have to be careful, because there is someone who actually follows my posts and reports me if I state exactly that but add the word "crappy".